Egyptian health authorities have confirmed four additional human cases of H5N1 avian influenza for 2015, bring the total to 17.

H5N1 avian influenza Image/Cynthia Goldsmith/ Jackie Katz
H5N1 avian influenza
Image/Cynthia Goldsmith/ Jackie Katz

The 14th case is a 27-year-old woman from Monofia. She is currently being treated for her illness, according to an Egyptian Ministry of Health press release (computer translated).  The 15th case is a 43-year-old woman from Assiut. She has reported died from the infection.

Case number 16 of 2015 is a three and a half year old girl from Cairo. She is also hospitalized and being  treated. Lastly, the 17th case is a 35 year old woman from Sohag who is being treated.

In 2015 to date, 17 human H5N1 avian influenza cases have been confirmed. Six have recovered from their illness, 8 are currently being treated and 3 have died.

The health ministry calls on the public who deal with poultry and who get symptoms of influenza to go immediately to the hospital for treatment with Tamiflu. In addition, they advise the same people to exercise caution when dealing with birds.

A moderator at ProMed Mail commented on the increase in human cases in Egypt saying: “It is very clear that the failure of control of H5N1 outbreak in the poultry industry sector has resulted in the currently seen upsurge in human cases. Lack of financial compensation for culling of infected farms for these small poultry farm owners has made them reluctant to declare the health status of their birds.”

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